Sociology for Midwives
Sociology for Midwives

The study of sociology is now an essential part of all midwifery training, but it can often seem removed from the reality of midwifery practice. Midwives often ask: what is sociology? Why do I need sociology to be a midwife? How can sociology help improve my clinical practice?

This major new textbook answers these important questions and shows how sociology can inform the practice of midwifery in the twenty-first century. It provides a comprehensive, jargon-free introduction to sociology for midwifery students with no prior knowledge of the subject, as well as practising midwives with experience of dealing with sociological issues in their daily work. Although the book assumes little or no previous knowledge of sociology it provides enough depth to meet the needs of those with some background in the field. At every stage the links between sociology and everyday practice are emphasised and explained, using a wealth of case studies and examples.  The book provides:

  • Clearly defined learning aims and objectives
  • Structured activities and questions for discussion
  • A glossary of key sociological concepts
  • Annotated suggestions for further reading

The editors and contributors have considerable experience teaching sociology at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels to students from many different disciplines. This book will be an indispensable teaching aid within midwifery education, and other relevant health and social care disciplines.

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  • March 2015
  • 320 pages
  • 180 x 254 mm / 7 x 10 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $83.25
  • 9780745662800
  • Paperback $36.25
  • 9780745662817
Table of Contents

Ruth Deery, Elaine Denny and Gayle Letherby

Part 1: Midwifery and the importance of sociology

1 Sociology for Midwives
Sarah Earle and Sarah Church

2 Sociology of Midwifery
Edwin van Teijlingen

3 Methods, Methodology and Epistemology
Gayle Letherby

4 Why Policy Matters
Alistair Hewison

Part 2: Key Issues and Concerns

5 Emotion Work and Midwifery
Ruth Deery and Pamela Fisher

6 Long Term Conditions and Disability
Elaine Denny

7 Meanings and Experiences of Risk in Midwifery
Jayne Samples and Bob Heyman

8 Midwives and Loss
Deborah Davidson

9 Fertility and Reproductive Technologies
Lorraine Culley and Nicky Hudson

Part 3: Debates and Controversies

10 Marginality and Social Exclusion
Jo Murphy Lawless and Nadine Edwards

11 Infant and Young Child Feeding: culture and context
Fiona Dykes

12 Commodification around Birth
Mavis Kirkham

13 Mental Health and Illness
Carol Kingdon

14 Sustainability and Midwifery Practice
Lorna Davies

Ruth Deery, Elaine Denny and Gayle Letherby

About the Author

Ruth Deery is Professor of Maternal Health at the University of West of Scotland and NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Elaine Denny is Emeritus Professor of Health Sociology at Birmingham City University

Gayle Letherby is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Health and Community at Plymouth University

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"What is the point of sociology for midwives and midwifery? A sociological perspective can give us a different understanding of reproduction and maternity care. It can help us challenge our ‘common sense’ assumptions about how people and the world tick. This new book provides midwives and midwifery students with a readable comprehensive and up to date review of the field of sociology applied to reproduction and maternity care. The editors bring together a very impressive amount of material and present it in an accessible and clear way. Their facility for handling complex theoretical and detailed empirical material is admirable." 
Jane Sandall, King’s College London

"The editors and authors of this fine volume have produced a wonderful introduction to the value of a sociological imagination in the practice of midwifery."
Barbara Katz Rothman, City University of New York

"The authors set out to ‘stimulate the sociological imagination’ of their readers. The combination of theoretical analysis and application of sociological theory to specific practice situations provides extensive opportunities for this to take place. Readers who are new to the sociology of maternity care will find ample material to excite and engage them. Those who already have dipped into this vast and fascinating field will find new applications, angles and perspectives that can cast a fresh light on why we do what we do in maternity care, and that provide possible routes for positive change in the future."
Soo Downe, University of Central Lancashire

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